This page relates to my work using the House form. I work mainly in porcelain paper clay, but sometimes terracotta, wire, paper and fabric, if the materials express the concept I am trying to work with in a better way…
ADVERSARIA ; Ad`ver*sa”ri*a\, n. pl. [L. adversaria (sc. scripta), neut. pl. of adversarius.] A miscellaneous collection of notes, remarks, or selections; a commonplace book; also, commentaries or notes. .
The house is seen as emotional architecture, a metaphor for security and permanence, but in reality it is a shell, accommodating and absorbing the many lives lived within. People link experiences, memories, relationships, to a specific place. We need to recognise ourselves as related to somewhere. I think a place is needed for something to become a memory. The act of moving house repeatedly from early childhood has left fragments of memories, areas where the stories of others have overlapped and become entwined with my own.
The houses have been hand-printed using traditional printmaking techniques on the non traditional surface of Porcelain Paperclay, they are variously embossed into the clay or etched in cobalt, in the narrative language of ceramics. I have used pulped 1960”s school books as the paper content, which is burnt away when the porcelain is fired. The houses are printed with fragments of text and pattern, like shards of a larger story which can be read, but never fully deciphered. There is a duality in my practice; I use a formal abstracted language with hand mediating to give a personal aesthetic. I am quietly exploring the ideas of alchemy (turning a liquid into a solid with the use of fire), and subversion (book burning), as well as the major ideas of place and memory.
As I have watched people interact with the houses, and heard their stories of moving and staying, I realised that my work connected to others, in a way I hadn’t fully expected. I work in a quiet, poetic way, gathering fleeting memories and small thoughts, to tell a larger human and deeply personal story.
I have been exploring ideas around house and home for many years. The house form is almost culturally transcendent, suggesting security and permanence, a container for our lives. The multiplying effects of taking one house and expanding it into a suburb though, moves the form from personal freedoms into suburban codification.
In this work ” 1m2 ” I have used red brick clay, a material commonly associated with housing. The glaze at first suggesting a commonality is shown on closer inspection to be cracked. The house form scaled metaphorically, like Cuisenaire rods, one form standing in for many. The houses assembled in a regimented grid layout on a grassed lawn, becoming an unrelenting army encroaching into the landscape.
Shadow Self Houses
In this small Sculpture I have placed my house forms in a domestic realm, I have hidden a gilded porcelain house, honed to an imperfect but contained form at its center. Covered, but still visible, by a felt house, that blanket of comfort we want to give our lives. This is contained within a metal exoskeleton, the seemingly rigid persona, we project to others.The dichotomy of want we Want to do and what we Have to do….